The future of Romelu Lukaku remains up in the air right now, and the striker needs reassurance of his role in the squad from Chelsea ahead of the summer transfer window
Romelu Lukaku will be seeking reassurance from Chelsea this summer as a new era dawns at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian striker endured a somewhat disappointing first season back with the Blues but still managed to finish the term as the club’s top goalscorer in all competitions.
Plenty was expected from Lukaku when he signed in a mega £97.5million deal last August, and after a positive start, the expectations increased. However, after that interview in December, his form went downhill, and it’s only in recent matches where he has looked somewhat himself, scoring three goals in two games against Wolves and Leeds United.
“You never give up on players, you never give in,” Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said on Lukaku last month. “I think Romelu is such a competitor that he feels the same, and he behaves in the same way.”
Everything Tuchel has said on Lukaku has been positive. The German coach has not given up on the club’s record signing just yet, and that is obvious considering he started three out of Chelsea’s last four Premier League matches of the season.
Transfer rumours are rife right now regarding Lukaku’s future, however, and there needs to be a big conversation over the coming months between the club and the striker. A new era at Chelsea is about to begin, with Todd Boehly’s consortium possibly completing their takeover of the club as early as this week, according to Sky News.
It remains unclear what vision Boehly has for the club and how much the American will actually be involved with the on-field matters. There’s perhaps a parallel universe where Boehly sees Lukaku as the spearhead for Chelsea going forward.
However, the soon-to-be owner does view Lukaku’s situation. A discussion needs to be had. There have been times this season where the Belgian hasn’t suited the way Tuchel wants to use his Chelsea side, but there have also been occasions where he has looked right at home.
At 29, it’s an integral stage of the striker’s career, and if he feels like he isn’t going to be their go-to man upfront, then he has every right to ponder what’s next. He’s earned the right, especially after his sensational time at Inter Milan, to be his side’s main striker, the guy who is constantly called upon at their time of need.
At Chelsea over the 2021/22 season, he wasn’t that. Lukaku will surely look to be assured by the club that he can be that person before making a hasty decision over his future in the summer.
For Chelsea, there are plenty of schools of thought. Lukaku wouldn’t be the first player to come to the Premier League and struggle to adapt, albeit it’s not his first time in his first season. There is a strong chance Lukaku could look like the Inter Milan version of himself next term.
On the other hand, would Chelsea want to risk this and perhaps lose more value on the striker by the time next season concludes? It remains to be seen of course, but there are some huge decisions from both parties to be made between now and when the new season begins in August.
There’s also a case to be made that Chelsea will need to offload Lukaku should they want to make any big-money signings over the summer window. The Belgium international is one of the top earners at the club, and space may need to be freed should they want to make a statement signing.
There are so many factors. There are so many ifs and buts. One thing for certain is we are in for a summer full of speculation at Stamford Bridge, and Lukaku is likely to be a name appearing consistently.